Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I hate paperwork. I deal with it all day at work and I resent having to
spend my weekends doing it. Bad enough in a regular month, but now
with having to gather everything for taxes, as well as getting all the
certificates for tax credits from our remodel last year, I am tearing out
my hair. Did I mention laundry, bills, cleaning, and the grass is already
starting its spring surge, so add weekly mowing to my list of chores.
Don’t even think dusting! How does anyone who’s not rich enough to
afford a maid, an accountant, and a gardener get it all done?
Sick of It
Dear Sick of It:
Economists have this concept called “elasticity” (apologies to any real
economists reading this column). In this case, the elasticity of demand
is high: an expanding list of things that need doing. The elasticity of
supply is more limited: only one of you, and 24 hours in each day. The
only solution I can offer is focused attention.
Write the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 on slips of paper. Fold
them up and put them in a bowl. The numbers are minutes. Do the
same with the various priority chores. Pull pairs, set the oven timer,
and get going. Even a focused 10-minute sprint of cleaning will leave
you feeling like your house is a little better off. If all you have is 10
minutes to start on your taxes, set up envelopes to start filing into, or
assembling the magic pieces of paper with the critical info. Obviously
you won’t make it till April without changing your sheets, but you will
develop a more productive rhythm and some greater sense of
investment in getting things done.